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Monday, 07 December 2015 05:07 By Flavia Nassaka
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A group of youth at the launch of the 'Topwa' campaignStarts vetting all voter education messages for `bias’

TOPOWA’ is a commonly used word in Ugandan street-speak, especially among the youth. Though its origin is unclear, it has been generally understood to mean “Don’t give up”. This word has been taken up by many including advertisers. For instance, a telecom company is using it in a major advertising campaign.

There was, therefore, no query raised when a Civil Society Organization – Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) in mid-September  picked ‘Topowa’ as the mobilisation catch-word for its civic education campaign in the run-up to the 2016 elections.

Monday, 07 December 2015 05:03 By Independent Reporter
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President Museveni at a campaign rally in Luwero. File PhotoIn the last election in 2011, President Yoweri Museveni swept 19 of the 24 districts in Buganda with an average above 70% of the vote. He won another three borderline districts and lost district, Bukomansimbi. Going into the 2016 elections, however, questions are being asked whether the apparent lack of influential figures on Museveni’s re-election team in Buganda should worry him.

The smart bet, it appears, is that in end Museveni will win or lose in Buganda based on how effectively he leverages his patronage system, State institutions and informal connections, especially the different individuals with whom he has been associated since the bush was days. It may, in fact, have nothing to do with the clout of his campaigners in the region. But that has not stopped pundits from analyzing the Museveni team in Buganda and assessing what the president is up to this time and his chances of success.

Monday, 30 November 2015 06:41 By Flavia Nassaka
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Questions on whether manifestos mean anything to Ugandans rise as TDA launches plan

A Uganda that works for everyone’ is what Go-Forward Presidential candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi and his coalition The Democratic Alliance (TDA) promise Ugandans.  After several postponements, the ex-prime minister finally launched his manifesto on Nov. 22 in a colorful event held at the Kampala Serena Hotel.  Inside the conference hall were pull up banners of not just portraits of the candidate but also artistic impressions of how the Uganda under Mbabazi’s leadership will look like.

“This manifesto proposes change that is both meaningful and measurable. It’s more than a public announcement of ideas or ideology.  It’s a manual upon which we intend to perform a radical reorganisation of Ugandan society,” said Amama while acknowledging a team of 13 TDA members that he worked with to come up with a document.

Democratic Party’s Norbert Mao was the chairman of the team – TDA Uganda Go- forward manifesto committee. Political party representatives that contributed include Uganda People’s Congress Olara Otunnu, Justice Forum (JEEMA)’s Asuman Basalirwa, People’s Progressive Party’s Dick Odur, Uganda Federal Alliance’s Beti Kamya and Social Development Party’s Michael Mabikke.Mao told The Independent that their aim is to create a participatory government where the public is actively involved in the affairs of the country. He said when drafting the manifesto, they looked at the problems of the country and it’s on those that they based on to come up with solutions. “It’s a cross pollination of ideas and it reflects the things we feel most strongly about,” he said.

Sunday, 22 November 2015 22:24 By Haggai Matsiko and Flavia Nassaka
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Amama Mbabazi campaigns in Mukono. Independent/Jimmy SiyaMbabazi shined in DP’s stronghold, can he sustain that outside Buganda, across the country?

As former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi embarked on the second week of campaigns, he defied talk that the numbers at his rallies would drop significantly the moment he gets out of Buganda, his strategists say.

Democratic Party’s (DP) Mathias Mpuuga, who representsMasaka Municipality and is part of Mbabazi’s top campaigning team has said that contrary to the critics view, outside Buganda the rallies are getting better by the day.

“I am satisfied beyond expectation,” Mpuuga said on Nov.16 when Mbabazi went through Kyankwanzi and held a rally in Hoima, “my candidate (Mbabazi) is proving critics wrong. A steady following is growing, that is unsolicited and that is not fanatical.”  He added that unlike competitors, Mbabazi has a message that will ensure people return to vote and most critically protect his votes.

Sunday, 22 November 2015 22:17 By Agnes E Nantaba
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On Sunday Nov. 8, Dr. Kiiza Besigye the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag bearer in the 2016 general elections officially announced his campaign team headed by party chairman Ambassador Wasswa Birigwa deputized by Kamuli District LC5 Chairperson Salaam Musumba. Besigye who has failed to trounce President Museveni on three accounts in 2001, 2006 and 2011 also chose Erias Lukwago the ousted Kampala City Lord Mayor to head the Candidate’s Special Mobilization team comprising other non-party members including Gen. David Sejusa, Ken Lukyamuzi, Moses Kasibante and Shifrah Lukwago.

During Dr Besigye’s inaugural rally at Nakivubo stadium in Kampala after his nomination on Wednesday, the Conservative Party leader and Lubaga South MP, Ken Lukyamuzi, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and former coordinator of intelligence services, Gen David Sejusa, addressed the gathering at the venue and declared their support to the FDC flag bearer.


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